Saturday, July 30, 2016

Inspired. Affirmed. Redeemed.

Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 

Inspired. Affirmed. Redeemed.  All these words fill my heart and mind as I interact with those around me and continue to move forward in my own spiritual trust-walk. Yet God still allows challenges and concerns before me, before this country and the world we live in. It seems everyday this summer swings like a pendulum--up to the heights of knowing God's love and plan, seeing it play out in front of me, bravery and achievement of goals, reunions and celebrations, vacations and beauty in the garden... butterfly wings. Then the news and politics fill our Facebook and living rooms, the heartbreak and evil, the disease and estrangement, the entitlement; the blatant disregard for human life...the tragedy this world has become. That last bit... is a darkness that's always existed, seeping in the cracks we ignore, the things we compromise, the choices we make to appease instead of stand up for truth, and ignorance of what God already accomplished.  God is sovereign and is always, always GOOD!

I am inspired by a young man who chose a profession of service, that of a police officer. Not only did he choose to be an officer of the law, but to do so in the big city, the City of Angels. At such a time as this, we climbed into a car in the early predawn hour on the morning after 5 Dallas policemen were taken out, executed. We watched the brave young recruits receive their handshake from the Chief of Police and the Mayor, listened to the heart breaking yet determined speeches--bittersweet words unintended for that morning, but determined to comfort and strengthen, assure and...give gratitude and love. I was so honored to sit with my closest friend and her family and pray for her son...our sons and daughters.

I am affirmed when my own story of "Grace Upon Amazing Grace, " my work in progress these last few summers, winds down to concluding thoughts, and a point of view switching from myself to my son in heaven. Incidents that to some might seem coincidence or "weird," I know and feel God reaching down and giving me a high-five, a thumbs up in a song or two, butterflies, and many other occurences. It bestows a  confidence... (sigh and smile) that the pages will be tangible soon. Words will be read, and hearts will see and turn to His grace in their own grief. 

I feel the redemption flow when I recognize the nudge, the need to tell someone's story, someone I haven't seen in 25 years. When they show up out of nowhere, open up to me about life and struggles and their own redemption through the gift they've been given late in life, to discover a talent beyond their wildest dreams in the throes of a cancer diagnosis...

"Maybe you're meant to tell my story," he said. Maybe I am. 

 "Genesis"  (God Creating Mars). 

***Creating art for only 11 months now,  a suggestion given to him by a counselor to use the other part of his brain, his three-D paintings are unique, the colors amazing in the detail and texture, and the subjects...inspiring!  

It happens again, a different person, a different dialogue  She writes in a message, ..."I need to tell you stories of the Holy Spirit, true stories of Hope I've experienced.  I need a writer." 

Then again, another person from the far past..."help me please, pray for me, how do I connect back to God in my prayer life?"

Three different souls, me and One God that unites us all. 

 I am redeemed because I am every one of these friends. I lived a life on the fence, one step in the world and a foothold on faith, straddling for balance, ignoring God until tragedy struck. In time and through genuine confession and wanting Him front and center, in control, did grace come pouring back, flooding me with peace and a hope I never felt before. I connected by writing in the pages of a journal and reading with intent, the Holy Words of Scripture. My prayers and my whole self became for the first time, authentic before God, highlighting spiritual gifts and purpose I never believed I was worthy enough to offer. I am used of Him now to bless others. In my darkest moments of this life, God revealed to me in the true supernatural, the ministry of the Holy Spirit and I long to share this miraculous gift of that very grace with everyone. 

So now, in my thoughts, I think on the good, the good God brings out to those that love Him and how it does all work together, even if it takes years. We all need to want to be an inspiration, to have affirmation in our  prayers, to want to serve and protect and give back a bit of ourselves so others can feel hope, and tell of His goodness. He still is in the miracle business. He does it in lives and hearts of His children who always have mattered since Creation began. Yet He allows us the free will to choose. I pray that God matters in your life today; allow Him to show you how to swing again and reach for the clouds. It's only a matter of a little push, a pump of the feet...and you'll feel the power of redemption pulling you up and out towards your own destiny in Him...

...because that is what makes evil benign--that is what keeps the swing going high to touch the clouds of heaven, that is what brings us intimacy and purpose in the opportunity we have to be grateful to Him everyday. 

We only ask you Lord to keep us humble in our own inspiration, in our own affirmation of You and keep redeeming us all for Your glory. May we serve each other in a holy way that unites us in love because all of us matter, everyone of us. Amen.

 Jars of Clay  Higher Than the Sun

Friday, July 1, 2016

Living Liberty, Fullness of Freedom

II Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Where does your liberty, your freedom hang out?  Where does it surface, show itself, invade your space, overflow...

Where does it go when you don't see it? Is it hiding, absent, not available? 

What does the word freedom mean to you? 

Does it conjure up ideas of democracy and patriates? America and the red, white and blue? 

Yes, probably.  I think there's more...

Is liberty a statue or a state of mind and soul? 

We will celebrate freedom/liberty in a couple of days. 

Can't we celebrate it everyday?  It's why we have it, right? 

I know...known of  some people who seem chained, un-free, without liberty. 

I am sure we all have felt this at one time...more than one time. 

Words tumble out like heavy chains linked together with negativity. They trod through life with shoes made from disappointment, shoulders burdened with the world's expectations and troubles. 

When Jesus Christ reigns supreme in our hearts and in our minds, freedom is ours forever. The Cross, like Holy bolt cutters, severed each link. God is our liberator through His Son. The more you meditate on that fact and live it,  in worship, prayer and submission, those chains begin to break apart. 

Shoes seem lighter today. 

Shoulders won't be sore; you'll sleep more restful and feel His peace. 

Words become more gentle, humble and kind, encouraging and uplifting. 

More of Him, less of the world...that is true freedom and a hope not found in the bitter man, but the believing man. 

And isn't that something we need to celebrate everyday?!  

Thank you Lord, for the freedom, the liberation I have in You. Though the evil one wants to find clever ways to weigh me down, keep me from all You want to give me, I know that You Lord, conquer over my enemies, those in thought and those visible. Chains are replaced with Your Hope and Your Joy. I desire to use my freedom in You to further Your Kingdom. Help me Lord to live knowing that everyday, I am free and filled with the Spirit of the Living God. I am free to celebrate that gift in love and deeds for those who need to know how to find that same peace. I'm free to worship you at every minute and proclaim my gratefulness. May I never lose this passion and become apathetic at the thought of true freedom. 

Thank you Lord for the liberty I have to write and post this blog, for that freedom, many have died for. I am forever grateful. God bless them, their families.  Amen. 

Happy 4th!  God Bless America. 

Chris Tomlin 

Friday, June 24, 2016

First Language

Chronicles 16: 8-9  Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His    
                                 Make known His deeds among the peoples.
                                 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
                                 Speak of all His wonders. 

God gave us a gift he didn't give the animals--communication.

(Some of you are thinking you CAN understand your pets..., I know). 

Man created language, then symbols that eventually turned into an alphabet. Most people in the world speak more than one language.

According to Google: "There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. However, about 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world that speak that language.

God and Adam had PERFECT communication in the Garden, but then...well, tempting WORDS messed it all up for everyone.

I can understand some Spanish, but not as well as I used to. 

My husband understands dutch, but he has a hard time putting sentences together. So far, he hasn't had the need to revert to his "native" tongue.

My son experienced...learned a big lesson in the art of communication this week.
Curious? It seems commonsensical.  (did I just invent a word?)


It almost cost him a friendship.
It did cost him in other ways.

Do you practice, know the language of PRAISE?

It's simple really. You turn your sentence around and make it a positive, thanking God in the  beginning, middle and the end.

The Psalmist does it. The last few chapters are filled with the language of PRAISE for everything around him, everything he sees, what he knows of the character of God and His sovereignty over us.

Jesus taught us to pray that way: "Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name...For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever." Amen. 

What would this world look like if everyone spoke the language of praise out loud within their everyday communications?

Barrista: "Hi, I am so thankful to see you today. God is good. What can we make you?"
Customer: "Yes, He is! I am thankful to Him this morning for getting me here safely in this storm. I'll have a venti vanilla please." 
Barrista: "I praise Him for my new tires, just in time for the rain." 
Customer: "Great! He provides! Thanks, see you tomorrow."

Employer to crew: "I thank God for each and every one of you. You all work hard and this success is for His glory. God has a plan for a hope and a great future for all of us."
Employees: "We praise God for our great boss and for all we have endured, the good times and the hard times."

Policeman: "Hi Sir, license and registration please. Sir, this is a good day. Our merciful Father in Heaven has put it upon my heart to just give you a warning today. I know that I have received an abundance of mercy from Him when I don't deserve it, so, ...thought I'd give some back today. Oh--and fix that tail light too."
Driver: "Wow, thank you Mr. Policeman. Father God, You guide and protect me as you do my family. I am in awe. I needed mercy today. I'm on the way to the wife, she's in labor, the neighbor took her..."
Policeman:" Lord, You are so good! You directed me to this young man so that I can escort him straight to the hospital with sirens blazing. Let's go, you're about to be a dad! Lord, go before us. Thank You for Your direction and using me in this place."

Can you imagine the political dialogue?

A different world indeed. 

Everyone needs to plant sunflowers out their window and stare at them like I do. They are all about praising their Maker. ( well, just a suggestion). 

Seems I need to continue to model everything I just wrote and practice the language of praise, around my son, around everyone. The more I use it, the more it will be my first language. 

I thought of this when my two close friends and I sat in a Starbucks yesterday and talked for several hours about life and God and His Goodness, some hard stuff and God's faithfulness. We weren't exactly quite. We weren't exactly speaking "politically correct." What we were doing was figuring out life with God in the mix and giving Him praise, coming to conclusions about forgiveness and grace and THANKFUL for his divine interventions in our lives and our friendship. It really does do a good thing to your soul--even more so than the coffee!

We did a group hug in the middle of the parking lot. I hope all the customers saw that--what it communicated. 

Christ came with Words and Actions of Love and Grace to heal the language barrier created in Eden. 

Father God, I praise you for friendships that are deep and everlasting. I honor You for all that You are doing in my life, teaching me to trust You in everything. I exalt You for who You are, The Lord of Lords, The God of the Universe, Creator, Yahweh, the Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega. I give thanks and seek Your face and heart of mercy in all my own communications, both difficult ones I hear and ones that don't come out of my own mouth so well. Help me Lord, all-hearing God, to give You praise in all my circumstances and may these same words become good thoughts, pleasing to You, King of Kings, giver of all that is good. Amen.

Casting Crowns ~ Lifesong

Friday, May 13, 2016

Just Keep Believing

I Timothy 4:15 (ESV) Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.  

One of the enjoyments of life in summer, (in California almost year round) is taking a dip in the pool. I admit, swimming as eluded me these last few summers even though we have a community pool just a couple minutes walk from my front door. I know at my stage in life, swimming is an excellent exercise and quite relaxing. Refreshing and just plain fun go right along with the belly flops and Marco Polo shout-outs. We look forward to the Olympic Summer Games where swimming sports win gold and new hereos wear goggles and spandex.

Some though, find a pool and water up over their knees quite intimidating, down right frightening.

They stare at the steps and wonder, what the big deal is, yet don't move forward.

They can hear their friends,  even family coaching them on, reassuring them that all is OK, to trust the process.

"Come in. The water is great! No one will let you drown! 

You even have your cutest suit on, your boldest hawaiian print board shorts, sunscreen, and beach towel. You're ready, but...

look over there, a deeper place, a scary place...

Finally, you immerse yourself in the shallow end and feel accomplished. But it's there you stay, dog-paddling, blowing a few bubbles and hanging onto the edge with your eye on the easy way out.

You watch as laps are completed and head-first dives are executed off springy boards and...what is that?  --Synchronized swimming?  Ugh!

It's too much work, too deep, too many arm strokes and foot paddling and chlorine and this and that...

Lessons are rejected, breathing techniques are disregarded, safety doesn't mean much because you avoid any challenge. The exercise, the cheering section and the improvement stay packed away, no progress made. Hanging out with guppies becomes your norm. The shallow end--your only friend because the deep...

well, it's just over your head.

I think there are a lot of enthusiasts of Jesus like that. They received their "pool" invitation with excitement. Maybe even went and purchased all the accessories to make them look experienced and ready--even a spray-on tan!

Yet they never move out of the shallows of their faith. They don't learn to let go, be taught and trust--Trust in the Life Guard of Everlasting Life! They drown in their own tears of doubt and worry.

Everyone finds their beginings in the shallows, and that is a good place to start. But many continue to lean on their own understanding, that the deep is just out of their comfort zone. They miss the blessings of completing laps, seeing the end results of the effort, of learning the ways of the water and discovery of the depths.

-as Dory says,  "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."  
-as Jesus said,  "Just keep believing, just keep believing." (Mark 5:36). 

Lord, learning to tread water was a good thing. Holding my breath and trusting in You for my next inhale has strengthened me. Staying and swimming in the deep waters of Your love has refreshed me and taught me to know You are always on deck, always standing guard over my life. When I emerge from the waters of Your salvation,  I am covered in a warm towel of amazing grace. Help me Lord, everyday, to be synchronized with Your moves, immersed in Your Word and in Your will,  ready to go deeper in trust and faith for wherever the laps of life continue to lead me. Amen. 

Oceans ~ Hillsong United 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Are You Faded or Fancy?

I Peter 1:3-4 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in Heaven for you."

Tucked away in my butterfly garden, a unique whimsical birdbath protrudes above the geranium, yet not quite as tall as the cosmos when they are in full maturity. A small pathway leads to the structure, framed by blue lobelia, white alyssium and purple salvia. 

Checking out a local antique store in the next town a few years back with my sister, we spied the base, a chunky, carved-out pedestal, painted in several pastel shades of blues, corals and pinks. Reasonably priced, my sister suggested it would make a great base for a birdbath. Now the hunt was on for a perfect "bowl" to attach. 

Found it! Stuck on top of a high armoir, a "pink" metal bowl, perfect in shape, size, and price, became my new project--an addition to a butterfly garden I started that spring. With a little epoxy and some cleaning up, it soon found its permanent home, outside my sliding glass door as I come down the stairs. I can see it and the blooming garden as I begin my day. 

This winter, as I cleaned up my plants, culled out the dead and prepared the soil for the new, I noticed what poor shape the pedestal had taken on over the months of watering, weather, and sun. Parts of the design and broken off and the color, faded-- a dull grayish...something. There were no defining colors left, just a blackish mold and deteriorating design. 

My whimsical, garden art no longer looked attractive, alive, new, fun, colorful...but dull and lifeless--UNattractive. 

I decided then and there that this unique creation needed a restoration...again. I would pull it out of the garden and begin the make-over soon. 

Over the last two weeks, I purchased a small wire brush, some blue tape and a can of spray stain-covering primer. The bristles removed the black mold, the dust, and smoothed the surface for the primer. Taping off the bowl, I sprayed it down leaving it to dry for a few days. 

Having several cans of paint lying around,  I knew I wanted to use what I had and not invest any more. That's part of the fun. 

This week, I've been working on a new color every afternoon. I didn't have a design in mind, but as I go, I can picture which color I need and where to apply it, complementing the color next to it. I look forward each afternoon to add another layer of paint, seeing it come back to life! Once faded, now becoming transformed, --alive, vibrant--what it is meant to be. The carvings on the pedestal are defined once again. I can't wait to see it shine, probably better then it did originally! 

I think God does that. He sees us in His beautiful Creation--worn, weathered, faded. He comes to us, picks up the broken pieces of our lives and finds the right way to mend us, fix us up. Sometimes, a little scrubbing, maybe some sanding down of our rough spots, our moldy sins, is His sweet discipline preparing us for the next steps. He primers us with grace and we are made white again, pure in His eyes. Then, he begins to make us into something He designed all along, adding the color back, some which we've had stored somewhere...

He restores the luster and redefines our gifts. He leads us to His purpose, placing us in the midst of a garden full of His encouragers and fills us with His Holiness. Others stop to take a drink, be refreshed and linger awhile to hear the stories of old and the hope of the new. 

Are you fading in your faith? Do you need restoration?  Have you let the mold and mildew of the world tarnish your attitude? Do you think your broken pieces can never be mended? 

As Christians, we have an inheritance that is imperishable! We need tender-loving-care from the Lord to keep us new and attractive, fresh and alive, excited and worthy, but that takes an active plan on our part to spend some time with our Maker. Yes, we are born again, but God has an abundance of glory awaiting us in that decision to submit to the Craftman! Let's ask Him to polish up the fading faith of our lives and give us some bright hope from His Word. Fellowship with others helps us see Your purpose again and God will place us at the window of His will, ready to greet the new days of sunshine, as we stand tall in His favor. 

We are never a finished project Lord, until You call us home. How awesome to know that You are continually working and improving me, seeing me as Your unique creation, and allowing me to be used for Your glorious purpose. May my testimony and commitment never fade, but continue to gain strength and brightness as I learn and grow in You. Thank you Lord for seeing me and putting the pieces together, placing me where I can be the best I can be and surrounding me with beauty in the gardens of my life. Make me fancy Lord for Your glory, not mine, for You are a loving God and my cup overflows.  Amen 

‘Glory Window,’ Chapel of Thanksgiving, Dallas, Texas

                                                   JEREMY CAMP : RESTORED

Friday, April 1, 2016

Be My Miracle!

Psalm 77:13-14 (NIV) You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. 

Typing it into Google, "miracle definition," here is what it read: a surprising event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency." 

Here's another: an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. 2.such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God, a wonder or marvel. 

The world wants to use other words: coincidence, karma, "at the right place at the right time," like somehow "we" had anything to do with the phenomena. While maybe we pray for such things to occur, The Divine Creator has always had the script written and ready to manifest in our lives--His will waiting to be a testament of His glory and power. 

Yesterday, I went with my two close friends and one of their daughters to see the movie, "Miracles From Heaven." It is the true story of a little girl diagnosed with a chronic, potentially life-threatening illness in her intestines called Pseudo-Obstruction. It is a disease not many are familiar with, a disease with complicated medicines and treatments and life-changing, life altering adjustments. Without giving away the storyline, I do highly recommend this film because it explores human/family emotions authentically, dealing with such a chronic disease, faith, desperation, love, friendship and encouragement...hope. 

And then there is this...MIRACLE!

Having suffered through with a chronically sick child  myself, I could relate to many scenes within this movie, tearing up many times, reliving, remembering those same emotions. But what so filled my heart and my thinking while watching this movie, was someone else, a very close friend and another miracle.

My dear friend, diagnosed with this same terrible disease in her early twenties, is a medical wonder. Forty years now passed, her doctors tell her all the time, she is a miracle, the longest living person to have survived--and SURVIVE she does! Linda is a leader in church, a mentor and encourager to others and my writing partner. When I arrived home, the first thing I did was call her and tell her, in my grateful tears, how thankful I am for her, that she IS my miracle friend. Many people are now learning about this terrible malady because of this movie, hopefully, many will be reminded that God is STILL in the miracle business.  

After the movie, I went to the nursery to purchase a hydrangea, a bush I had been looking for, for a few weeks now. In the movie, one was featured and it reminded me and inspired me to go look one more time. I did find one, planting it today next to my white rose of remembrance, to remind me--to honor the miracles in my life and others. 

My son was not cured from his chronic illness. Linda does not have a cure, but ways to deal with and manage her disease. We learn to cope because we have THE Hope, the miracle of Easter, the Resurrection which opens up the sky for a relationship with God, the Miracle Inventor. 

Miracles from God are intimate, personal and supernatural. I believe I received three this past Valentine's Day, many of you I have shared this with. One friend I saw the movie with, burst into my living room, to share a miracle she received today; so random and yet so precise, "I Love you and I am working things out for you," --God, written all over this revelation. Praying earnestly for her son's frustration, dilemma and demeanor, he received a miracle answer, one he readily shared with her, knowing it came from above, a supernatural source, prompting him to a sincere thanksgiving spirit and drawing him closer, lifting his spirits. Thank you Lord!  

A co-worker couldn't wait to share this with me on the last day of school before break. She had injured her foot a few months back and was still wearing a protective sock around her bandages. She purchased some new socks and that morning had opened the packaging, with the socks inside. Her birthday looming in a few days, she was a little melancholy, as she is widowed and recently lost a close cousin. She put her sock on over her wrapped foot and felt something scratching her, something inside that shouldn't be there. Taking the sock back off and turning them inside out, "Happy Birthday" metallic confetti, several pieces, fell into her lap. She pulled it out of her pockets to show me when she got to school. How does a message of "Happy Birthday" show up in a sealed package of socks? God orchestrated a miracle for her to receive it on that day, at that hour. 

As a believer, God knew her heart and what she needed.  

Linda, though not cured, has survived to serve others and be my miracle friend, to love the Lord and encourage others to tell their story. She will be the first to tell you, her life has not been easy, but she will also tell you her life is a miracle because of God's strength. 

Butterflies come from the trees in my darkest days of grief to surround me and minister to me in such personal God-whispering-love ways that continue to fill me with hope. 

God is still in the miracle business. I could (and maybe should) write about all the miracles that happen just within my circle of faithful friends. Pray believing He has one for you too because He does! Stand at your doorway and look, and be prepared to receive it. Sometimes the miracle is just that, recognizing the Love He has for us and settling down to allow Him to make us into His miracles. Be still and Know that I Am God. Be Still and Be My Miracle!  

Thank you Lord for Miracles from Heaven, butterflies, friendships, socks with confetti, messages that make sense to only us but causes us to see You, for the miracle of Hope and Light in the depravity and hopelessness that surrounds us. Help us to be a miracle in the life of others, to bring your miraculous Love to view in a faith inexplicable by the world, but proven by the evidence Your Holy Spirit leaves in our daily walk with You. I am grateful for the miracles I see and feel everyday. I am grateful to be a miracle, forgiven and filled with hope. Amen.  

Enjoy Third Day, "I Need A Miracle" 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Because He Is Good

Isaiah 53: 3-5 "He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and aquainted with grief; 
and like one whom men hide their face, 
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; 
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, 
Smitten of God and afflicted. 
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, 
He was crushed for our iniquities..."

Today is Good Friday. Why is it good, you ask?  Christendom takes the bread and breaks it, drinks of the cup and ponders on the good, THE GOOD of what transforms us, pushes us through into the Holy of Holies, passed the torn veil and into a New Covenant, a new promise of Hope, the everlasting riches of His divine glory.

Think back on a day you totally felt ashamed, worthless, sick to your stomach for a horrible decision, unforgiven, guilty, angry, desperate...

Now imagine every human being that ever lived taking those same thoughts and feelings, putting them in a backpack and placing them on the shoulders of Christ. Still, this was only one day, one set of emotions multiplied by all of humanity, the ones we admit, the ones we'd really like to see forgiven. What about all the others, the ones we still covet, hold on to, wrestle with, keep secret, deny...?

Jesus Christ on that Cross took on all of humanity's sin, the obvious and the hidden, the defined and the undefined, the tragic disregard and the intentional and blatant self-serving hedonism of mankind, all of it, and then He died...Because He is Good and we are not!

That sin, that affliction we carry, that sickness deep in our lungs, that infection in our gut, those nervous anxieties and restless nights, that heavy burden that drowns us and keeps us from true joy...He absorbed into his God-man skin, into the very Holy cells of His righteous Being, circulating through His heart, each beat calling out our name to the Father, "Forgive them..."

And this is the Gospel Truth (Mark 15).

Good Friday is Good because it is so personal. It is you He sees from the Cross, you whose sin He gathers and burns.

Break the bread and partake of His goodness, remember His body bruised and crushed. Savor the Bread of Life and His sustaining grace that fills us with awe and wonder. Sip from the cup of His Salvation, the River of Life that floods the deluge of sin to revive and transform us for His glory.

Victory awaits us. A triumphant celebration prepares. Faith is forged and Hope is renewed. For this is not the end of the Good. Good continues eternal.

All that He requires is your humble heart.

"Blessed are those who are poor in spirit ( to know their need for God), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:4

Father, it is incomprehensible the depth of Your Good Love for us, for me. Yet You show me everyday how to do this life, how to live in joy, how to conquer sin and be a light. You do that in such personal ways that encourage me to want to know You even more intimately and share Your plan, worship You with abandon and fellowship with others--THE plan of Love that moves us into the everlasting eternity spent with You. Thank you Father God for sending Your Son to die for me on that Cross, for Your plan to have communion again with us sinners. May we remain always humble and willing to be obedient to Your calling, sharing the Good that is You, Amen.